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OF Young's Poems it is difficult to give any general character; for he has no uniformity of manner : one of his pieces has no great resemblance to another. He began to write early, and continued long; and at different times had different modes of poetical excellence in view. His numbers are sometimes smooth, and sometimes rugged; his stile is sometimes concatenated, and sometimes abrupt; fometimes diffufive, and sometimes concise. His plan seems to have started in his mind at the present moment, and his thoughts appear the effects of chance, sometimes adG4
verse, and sometimes lucky, with very little operation of judgement.
He was not one of the writers whom experience improves, and who observing their own faults become gradually correct. His Poem on the Last Day, his first great perforinance, has an equability and propriety, which he afterwards either never endeavoured or never attained. Many paragraphs are noble, and few are mean, yet the whole is languid; the plan is too much extended, and a succession of images divides and weakens the general conception; but the great reason why the reader is disappointed is, that the thought of the LAST DAY makes every inan more than poetical, by spreading over bis mind a general obscurity of sacred horror, that oppresses distinction, and disdains expression.
His story of Jane Grey was never popular. It is written with elegance enough, but Jane is too heroick to be pitiede
The Universal. Paffron is indeed a very great performance. It is said to be a series of Epigrams; but if it be, it is what the author intended: his endeavour was at the production of striking distichs and pointed sentences; and his diftichs have the weight of solid sentiment, and his points the sharpness of resistless truth. His characters are often selected with discernment, and drawn with nice. ty; his illustrations are often happy,
and his reflections often just. His fpecies of satire is between those of Horace and of Juvenal; he has the gaiety of Horace without his laxity of numbers, and the morality of Juvenal with greater variation of images. He plays, indeed, only on the surface of life; he never penetrates the receffes of the mind, and therefore the whole power of his poetry is exhausted by a single perusal; his conceits please only when they surprise.
To translate he never condescended, unless his Paraphrase on Job may be confidered as a verfion; in which he has not, I think, been unsuccessful : he indeed favoured himself, by chusing those parts which moft easily admit the ornaments of English poetry.
• He had least success in his lyrick at. tempts, in which he seems to have been under fome malignant influence: he is always labouring to be great, and at last. is only turgid.
In his Night Thoughts he has exhi-bited a very wide display of original poetry, variegated with deep reflections. and striking allusions, a wilderness of thought, in which the fertility of fancy scatters flowers of every hue and of every odour. This is one of the few poems, in which blank verse could not be changed for rhyme but with disadvan--tage. The wild diffufion of the fentiments, and the digreffive fallies of imagination, would have been compressed